Are there potential risks in relying on profiles to predict future school attacks?

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Are there potential risks in relying on profiles to predict future school attacks?

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Dr. Reddy: We think there are. Profiling, as we have looked at it, can mean two different sets of investigative techniques. The way the term is usually used, it means relying on information from a crime scene, from a behavior that has already taken place, and trying to figure out from those clues what type of person may have committed the crime. In a way, it`s working backwards from a crime to figure out the person who did it. The way profiling has been used in schools, with respect to school shootings, is a very different process. In a sense, it means trying to look at a person and guess whether or not they may engage in some future bad act. When we talk about profiling at schools, it means looking at a child and seeing how similar he or she looks to previous school shooters and being concerned that there is some similarity. We think that this is extremely dangerous because there is a potential to stigmatize students and to make them feel even more disconnected from the schools in whi